Nina Baker waves at photographers after she receives her new American Citizenship certificate.
(Photo by Valerie Rice - ONN)
In a naturalization ceremony held Friday, 15 people from 8 different countries became new U.S. citizens in the US District Court in Okmulgee. The ceremony was presided by US Magistrate Judge Steven P. Shreder and US Chief Bankruptcy Judge Tom R. Cornish. (SEE PHOTOS AND VIDEO BELOW)
"This is an exception today, when we are in court and everyone is happy and has smiling faces," Judge Shreder stated in his opening welcome.
Shreder spoke to the candidates, "You have worked very hard to get here and your families have made great sacrifices. But as we know sacrifice and hard work is how opportunities are born. Today you stand the pressure of a new era in your life. What does it mean to be a citizen by choice and rather than chance. Our founding fathers like you, were citizens by choice. A choice that was born of courage, free thinking and risk. For those of us who are citizens by the geography of our birth, it might be easier to take for granted the ideas that America stands for. In moments like this one today, it's a reminder that we should all strive to be good citizens by choice."
"As Americans, we take pride in our uniqueness of a nation, it does not have a common creed, or religion, or ethnicity or color. Instead we are united by a set of shared ideas, the idea people should be empowered and free, the idea that there are unalienable rights. The idea that the preservation of freedom requires constant work, ideas that you have also chosen to embrace."
"We are gathered today in Okmulgee the capital of the Creek Nation since 1868 and what later would be called Indian Territory and finally the state of Oklahoma. A land of natives and immigrants as we have always been. So what a fitting place for us to welcome you as fellow Americans. Your ideas and talents and heritage will make us stronger."
After the introduction of petitioners was made, Therese Buthod, Clerk of Court lead the candidates in this oath, "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."
The 15 new citizens and their countries are: Jjanrong Chen Peoples Republic of China, Celsa Thomas Mexico, Hee Kyung Lee South Korea, Ahmed Mohammad Anwar Pakistan, Lubvov Harrison Russia, Agustin Gavina Ramirez Mexico, Nghi Song Nguyen Vietnam, Grecia Maria Kalula El Salvador, Nina Pavlovna Baker Russia, Andeea Flores Mexico, Xue Xian Zhu Peoples Republic of China, Sonia Patricia Barrientos Mexico, Arlene Valiant Hoyt Philippines, Mirna Dominguez Lara Mexico, and Delema Andales Bourland Philippines.
Okmulgee News Network spoke with some new citizens after the ceremony:
Photos by Valerie Rice - ONN
The unnecessary death of a pet happens too often in our community. This article will focus on ANIMAL ABUSE, what it is and what our community can do to help prevent it.
Animal Abuse comes in many forms. Besides the obvious signs of physical abuse we have a list of conditions that is considered abuse through neglect.
• Tethered (chained) dogs are three times more likely to attack than dogs that are not tethered.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Task Force on Canine Aggression and Human-Canine Interactions, a dog's socialization and behavior health-both of which are severely compromised by chaining according to animal behaviorists, are among the factors that determine a dog's tendency to bite. The AVMA advises "Never tether or chain your dog, because this can contribute to aggressive behavior". So yes this IS ABUSE.
• No shelter from the weather is clearly an act of abuse or cruelty. Rain, snow, cold or heat can affect your pet's health. Can you thrive in these conditions?
• Lack of daily food and fresh water will surely lead to health complications and death. There is NO EXCUSE for not feeding or sheltering your pet properly. The Okmulgee Humane Society is here to help with both of these situations. But seriously if you cannot afford to care for a pet, please do not get one.
• Lack of yearly vaccinations and flea and heartworm preventative is also a sign of neglect/abuse. Many dogs and cats die every year from, parvo, distemper, rabies, parasites (worms caused from fleas), heartworms (carried by misquotes). The preventative cost of ( aprox $20.00 per month) is much less than the treatment cost of ($300.00 to $700.00, or a slow agonizing death) for any of these diseases.
• Not getting your pet spayed or neutered is in itself a form of abuse for many reasons. Neutering the male dog eliminates the risk of dying from testicular cancer. Reduces the risk of non – cancerous prostate disorders. And may possibly reduce the risk of diabetes. Getting the females spayed before 2 yrs old greatly reduces the risk of mammary tumors, nearly eliminates the risk of pyometra.( a serious infection in the uterus. If all of this info is not enough for you to get your pet spayed or neutered then think of the 7200 dogs and 60,000 cats coming into shelters daily, state wide being euthanized because you wanted a litter and did not find good homes for them. This is not free either, the euthanization of shelter animals cost the taxpayers of our city.
Does this really happen here in Okmulgee? Yes it does, and more often than you think. Most recent was Wednesday 11/05/14, a very good dog in my neighborhood had to be killed because his owners were not feeding, watering and giving him the medical attention he needed. The poor dog was removed by Animal Control and taken to the Vet to be euthanized. He was too sick to survive what his owner had done to him. Is this Abuse? YES it is.
How can you help? Call and report any cases you are aware of to your local Animal Control and to the Local Humane Society. Spread our information about food & dog house assistance, low cost spays & neuter and vaccination clinics to everyone you know. Please let's make our community an animal friendly city. "The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
-Mahatma Gandhi-Lyn Miles
Okmulgee Humane Society
NOVEMBER 2014 menu for the Mounds Senior Citizens center:
Tues, Nov 4 - Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Green Beans, Hot Rolls, Dessert
Thur, Nov 6 - Chicken Tortilla Casserole, Rice Refried Beans, Dessert
Tues, Nov 11 - Salman Patties, Buttered Potatoes, Veggies, Rolls, Dessert
Thur, Nov 13 - Ham & Potato Soup, Cornbread, Dessert
Tues, Nov 18 - Breakfast for Lunch - Scrambled Eggs, Sausage Patties, Biscuits & Gravy
Thur, Nov 20 - Cheeseburger Soup, Chips/Cornbread, Dessert
Tues, Nov 25 - Closed for Thanksgiving
Thur, Nov 27 - Closed for Thanksgiving
EVERYONE WELCOME - Open @ 9:00 am; Serving @ 11:30 am
Help Henryetta Third Grade Elementary teacher Cheryl Boatner win a $100,000 grant for her students!
The Henryetta school is currently in the running for $100K through Farmers Insurance, and they need the communities support every day through November 30th!
They are the only school candidate in Oklahoma and running against a school in Texas and one in Arkansas. Please spread the word to support the Henryetta Elementary!
How can you help HES acquire their proposal for "Brain Camp"???
Go to http://www.thankamillionteachers.com
Scroll down and select the "Vote for a Proposal red button
Scroll down and select the "Vote for a $100,000.00 Proposal" red button
Step 1, select the state of OK and select "Go" or search by Cheryl Boatner
Step 2, Enter your email address, check the box that you are over 18
Step 3, Hit the vote button on each proposal Step 4, Watch your email and click the verify your vote button for your vote to COUNT
Vote each and every day on each email account
Voting begins October 1st and ends November 30.
Send the students to "BRAIN CAMP"!
Honor Warriors not War T-shirts that were available during the Wall display are still on sale until they are gone.
A limited supply is left. You can purchase one from S&L Gallery in Henryetta and at the Woodmen of the World office, 105 N. First Str. Casualties from Okmulgee County are listed on the back. Price is $15.00 each. Shipping is available for an additional $6.00, if you need one mailed.
Sizes are M, L, XL and 2XL
You may also send checks to Henryetta Historical Society, POB 220, 74437
Kevin Sweat attacks Lawyer with razor before his life sentencing
Kevin Sweat arrived at the Okfuskee County Court House today to receive his sentencing after entering a blind plea of guilty on 3 counts of murder in July.
The 10 a.m. court hearing was delayed after Sweat took a small blade and attacked an attorney Peter Astor before he was set to go in the court room.
By 11:08 Sweat was in the courtroom before Okfuskee County Judge Parish.
Parish said the presentencing investigation had been completed and acknowledged that Sweat and his legal council had reviewed a copy.
Parish proceeded, "Today is judgement day. Do you have any legal cause or reason why judgement should not be withheld?"
Sweat quickly replied that he had made himself clear in his statement that he wanted to withdraw his plea.
Parish said he had no information about a withdrawal of his plea. "Do I understand that you 'wish' to withdraw your pleas?," said Judge Parish.
"Yes your honor," said Sweat.
"Well you are not going to be able to do so at this time," said Judge Parish.
Parish explained to Sweat that he had the right to apply to withdraw his plea after his sentencing.
Parish said that he had reviewed the pre sentencing investigation along with the victim impact statements.
It was advised then to the judge that Sweat wished to withhold the mitigating evidence to be presented for the courts consideration since he has decided to withdraw his plea.
The judge then read the sentencing of Life without parole for each count and each time the courtroom of people applauded as they heard the decision.
Sweat was sentenced for the murders of three victims in the 2008 murders of 13-year-old Taylor Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker and the 2011 slaying of his fiancee, 23-year-old Ashley Taylor.
Kevin Sweat in custody departing Okfuskee Court House - Photo by Paul Orosco - ONN Chief Photographer
The traveling wall has made its next stop in Henryetta, Ok and was escorted into town by several veterans and supporters of those who died for Americas freedom.
People lined the streets of Okmulgee to see the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall's grand entrance into town.
The Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall traveled down Indian Nation turnpike and through downtown Henryetta. The wall and other exhibits were escorted by the America's Guardians Motorcycle club and Patriot Guard Riders.
"It was really meaningful to see the people of my hometown lining the streets as the motorcycles brought in the guard. It brought me to tears watching them as they pulled in," said Sandy Peters.
Vietnam Veterans say seeing the motorcade brought a wave of emotions that are hard to describe.
"To see the wall finally come in and knowing the names are there of the veterans that passed away in Vietnam is very emotional," said coordinator Mike Doak.
Volunteers are are anxiously awaiting setting up the wall so that people from across Oklahoma can come see and experience it.
At the moment there's not much to see, it's more of a display in boxes. Once put together the wall will stand eight feet tall and 360-feet long. In size it may be 80 percent of the real thing but it has 100 percent of the content. Including the names of all the Oklahoma men and women killed in Vietnam.
The "through the eyes" Traveling Vietnam Museum is also a special attraction during the 5-day experience that is held broadly in two main tents and free to the public as well as all activities and wall viewing are free.
Opening ceremonies took place on Wednesday evening when the MVSKOKE Nation Honor Guard placed the colors. Marcus Whitworth gave the opening watch fire ceremony and retiring of flags presentation. (See photos below) The Nazarene Church and Vietnam Veteran Rev. Lowell Churchill gel a especial music and prevention from 7 to 8 and the Honor later retired the colors.
The wall will be unveiled and assembled on Thursday morning.
The Vietnam the exhibit and traveling wall will be open to the public 24 hours until Sunday. it will be disassembled at 3 p.m.
Photos by Allen Gardner - ONN
On Veterans Day 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund unveiled a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., designed to travel to communities throughout the United States. Since its dedication, The Wall That Heals has visited more than 350 cities and towns throughout the nation, spreading the Memorial's healing legacy to millions.
This week the Wall will travel to Henryetta, Ok. Great preparations have been in the works for the arrival. At 4 p.m. everyone is invited to line the Henryetta Main Street as the Wall arrives in town and will travel through to its setup location next to the Henryetta High School for opening ceremonies. Today the tents are being set up for activities.
At 5:30 p.m. the Creek Nation Honor Guard will Posts the Colors. On Thursday the Wall will be assembled and four days of scheduled events will happen. CLICK HERE for Schedule.
Other special entertainment during the four days of the "Wall" includes music by Marcus Whitworth, Wesley VanMeter, Tom Rush and Randy Prahl. Other musicians will be, Tony Rivera, Emma Sparkman, Lela Foster, the HHS Choir, and the HHS Band, Nelson Harjo, McKayla Baxter, Tara Matthews and others.
Churches participating in services under the big tent include the Nazarene Church, End Time Revival, Eagle Heights Church, First Baptist Church of Dewar, First United Methodist Church, Dewar Pentecostal Church, etc.
The Creek Nation Honor Guard will post the Colors, lay Memorial Wreaths for Women's Veterans, the POW/MIA's,the Gold Star Mother's, the Blue Star Mother's 19 Okmulgee County Casualty Wreaths.
At 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct.26, the final ceremonies will take place, and at 3 p.m. the "Wall" will be taken down. Come for a day or for all week.
Volunteers are always welcome and needed to help us.
Bringing The Wall home to communities throughout the country allows the souls enshrined on the Memorial to exist once more among family and friends in the peace and comfort of familiar surroundings. The traveling exhibit, known as The Wall That Heals, allows the many thousands of veterans who have been unable to cope with the prospect of facing The Wall to find the strength and courage to do so within their own communities, thus allowing the healing process to begin.
Photos by Allen Garnder - ONN
Have you been following Sterling BASS? Well we caught up with him and he has been busy!
He went to the Dowry this week to visit with owner Linda Janzen. The fine staff there gave him the red carpet and pampered him so that he was not ready to leave too soon. They let him try numerous fresh coffee's from their great selection of fresh coffee beans and he stirred himself into luxury as he picked out a few gifts and some cards for his kids "Knife" and "Fork" and some scented candles for himself to enjoy over the next year in his new home..."whoever that shall be."
Of course it came time to close shop at the Dowry, so Sterling made his way over to see the Lewellen's and their new construction on the corner of 6th and Morton in the Parkinson building. They gave him the grand tour and Sterling watched the magical moment when the 1913 Otis bird cage elevator made its way to the ground floor after over 60 years. (You can see that too HERE)
Next he was stirring around all the chili festival setup on Friday getting ready for the big day.
Now Sterling is ready for the big Chili Cook-off tomorrow. He invites everyone to come out and see him tomorrow as someone will take him home along with $500!
Don't know who Sterling is? Sterling BASS is the highly sought after "Big Amazing Silver Spoon" that will travel for a year with the winner of the "People's Choice" award in the big Chili Cook-off coming up October 18. And the winner will also receive $500. SEE RELATED ARTICLE
The Henryetta Fire Dept. were dealing with a small gas spill today at 10th and Main. A tanker leaked 20 gallons of petroleum while uploading to a Sinclair Station. The cleanup will take a little while as firemen must wait for a company to come down from Tulsa who deals with hazardous substances to work the final clean up phase. Take note if you are driving past this area.
Photos by Allen Garnder - ONN